In early 2018, I decided to make an idea I had a reality by finding an illustrator to collaborate with me to make a poetry coloring book. To do this, I ran a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter, which you can find here. The book is in the process of being published now, and should be available by August 2018.
And below are some details about the book:
Ten poems and ten illustrations for you to color.
Two women in two countries separated by the Atlantic.
A poet and an illustrator dreaming hard.
The poems in the book are about intimacy and what happens when you don’t put up walls and choose instead to be vulnerable.
What I have to give are my words and my understanding of the world, which I have spent pretty much my whole life cultivating, even before I knew it.
Adult coloring books are trending, and I think I know why. Coloring is a low-energy, potentially high-output activity that can be all sorts of things—stress-relieving, fun, relaxing, igniting creative juices, and plenty of other reasons. The high output I am referring to is that people tend to walk away from a coloring session calmer and sharper because of the way the brain has to works in the process.
To be perfectly honest, I came up with this idea because I was reading one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, and I thought about what a beautiful experience it would be to be able to have images to color along with her poems. She doesn’t have any coloring books to go with her poems (nor does almost anyone), so being a poet myself, I decided not to waste a great idea; I would make a coloring book with my own poems.
The idea and the poems have been cooking in my brain for some time, but I wasn’t in a rush because I wanted to find the right illustrator for the project. Thanks to the immense world of social media, I stumbled upon the Instagram of Barcelona artist Claudia Sahuquillo in the past months, where she has a project called #skinisthenewcanvas, and I have just been fascinated by her work. One of the reasons I found her was because her project has some clear similarities to my physiopoetry project Skin on Sundays. I write poetry on people’s bodies and Claudia paints on people’s bodies. Other than just being in love with Claudia’s work as a painter and illustrator, that artistic commonality between us lit a bulb in my brain that wouldn’t shut off until I wrote to her asking if she was interested in collaborating with me on this coloring book mission.
When she said YES, I did more than a few happy dances, both with my feet and my heart, and now here we are! Claudia will be taking each of my poems and creating a visual interpretation, which you will then be able to color. So, aside from the project being a really cool mix of the brains of two artists, Claudia and myself, aside from the fact that I alone am so excited to see what she creates from my poems, there is this interactive element that coloring necessitates from readers that adds many others into the mix of creation here.
I’m not sure what the meaning of life is, but I do know that bringing creative energy together like this and making something tangible from it is something that makes me feel whole. So, that is what I have to do in my life in general, and that is exactly what I am doing here with this project.
What’s even more, Rad Press Publishing is already lined up to design and publish the book when it’s ready, and they are thrilled to be a part of this awesome endeavor.